Good Monday morning. Here’s a digest of opinion content published over the weekend in The Journal News:
Saturday, July 9
Carl Leubsdorf of The Dallas Morning News assesses the struggle in Washington between President Barack Obama and the Democrats and the tea party-fueled House Republicans over whether or not to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
Ellen Holtzman, a Rockland-based attorney specializing in family law and past president of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, comments on the state Legislature’s legalization of same-sex marriage and wonders what it may spell for the state’s divorce rate.
Sunday, July 10
Property tax cap and arbitration: Editorial
We comment on recent headlines in The Journal News that assess the outcome of an arbitration for Clarkstown’s police force and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s firm stand on just-passed property tax-cap legislation. We write:
The headlines in Wednesday’s Journal News summed up the tension that pulls at municipal budgets across the Lower Hudson Valley: “Police awarded 2 years of raises,” read the bold headline, followed by an article that detailed how Clarkstown police officers — among the highest-paid in the nation — would receive 3.4 percent retroactive raises under a contract settled through arbitration. The headline below: “Cuomo to schools, governments: deal with the tax cap.” In the accompanying article, municipal leaders complained that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s newly enacted 2 percent property-tax cap ignores promised “mandate relief,” or changes to state-mandated regulations and laws that push up expenses on the local level. Cuomo’s response? The economy is “tight for everyone.” In other words, deal with it.
Indian Point: Commentary
Paul J. Vitale, is vice president of government and community relations for the Business Council of Westchester, takes on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s position that Indian Point should be closed. Vitale argues that the nuclear power plant is vital to the region’s economy.
Prescription-drug abuse: Commentary
State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman advances a case for legislation that would create “a program [that] connects doctors and pharmacists to a real time, online database to track the prescription and dispensing of frequently abused drugs.” The program would combat rising prescription-drug abuse.
Jim Russell: Phil Reisman
Phil Reisman reacts to news that state Supreme Court Justice Sam D. Walker dismissed a libel lawsuit filed by former congressional hopeful Jim Russell. In October, Russell filed against Reisman and other Lower Hudson Valley journalists, claiming that he’d been defamed and painted as a racist in news stories, commentary and editorial cartoons that sprang from a 2001 journal article Russell had written.
Monday, July 11
Infrastructure projects: Commentary
Virginia Postrel, a columnist for Bloomberg News, comments on the cost of public works projects like the I-287 reconstruction. Postrel argues that it’s impossible for such projects to be completed without significant cost overruns.